AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann [-]
Although Eagles Live includes four tracks recorded in the fall of 1976 (thus allowing for the inclusion of departed singer Randy Meisner on “Take It to the Limit”), the bulk of the album comes from the end ofthe Eagles‘ 1980 tour, just before they broke up, and it reflects their late concert repertoire, largely drawn from Hotel California and The Long Run. The occasional early song such as “Desperado” and “Take It Easy” turn up, but many of the major hits from the middle of the band’s career — “The Best of My Love,” “One of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes” — are missing, replaced by such curiosities as two extended selections from Joe Walsh‘s solo career, “Life’s Been Good” and “All Night Long.” At least Walshintroduces some live variations to his material; the rest of the Eagles seem determined to re-create the studio versions of their songs in concert, which may work for them live but almost makes a live recording superfluous. The previously unrecorded rendition of Steve Young‘s “Seven Bridges Road” is welcome, and the album would have benefited from more surprises as well as a livelier approach to a live recording.
Track Listing – Disc 1
|3||I Can’t Tell You Why||5:17|
|4||The Long Run||5:51|
|5||New Kid in Town||5:53|
|6||Life’s Been Good||8:56|
Track Listing – Disc 2
|1||Seven Bridges Road||3:54|
|3||Take It to the Limit||5:14|
|4||Doolin-Dalton (Reprise II)||0:41|
|7||All Night Long||5:34|
|8||Life in the Fast Lane||5:09|
|9||Take It Easy||5:16|
Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann
With five number one singles, 14 Top 40 hits, and four number one albums, the Eagles were among the most successful recording artists of the 1970s. At the end of the 20th century, two of those albums — Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) and Hotel California — ranked among the ten best-selling albums ever, and the popularity of 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden proved the Eagles‘ staying power in the new millennium. Though most of its members came from outside California, the group was closely identified with a country- and folk-tinged sound that initially found favor in Los Angeles during the late ’60s, as championed by such bands as the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco (both of which contributed members to the Eagles). But the band also drew upon traditional rock & roll styles and, in their later work, helped define the broadly popular rock sound that became known as classic rock. As a result, the Eagles achieved a perennial appeal among generations of music fans who continued to buy their records many years after they had split up, which helped inspire the first of the Eagles‘ reunions in the mid-’90s.The band was formed by four Los Angeles-based musicians who had migrated to the West Coast from other parts of the country. Singer/bassist Randy Meisner (born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, on March 8, 1946) moved to L.A. in 1964 as part of a band originally called the Soul Survivors (not to be confused with the East Coast-based Soul Survivors, who scored a Top Five hit with “Expressway to Your Heart” in 1967) and later renamed the Poor. He became a founding member of Poco in 1968, but left the band prior to the release of its debut album in order to join the Stone Canyon Band, the backup group forRick Nelson. Meanwhile, singer/guitarist/banjoist/mandolinist Bernie Leadon (born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 19, 1947) arrived in L.A. in 1967 as a member of Hearts and Flowers, later joiningDillard & Clark and then the Flying Burrito Brothers. Singer/drummer Don Henley (born in Gilmer, Texas, on July 22, 1947) moved to L.A. in June 1970 with his band Shiloh, which made one self-titled album for Amos Records before breaking up. Finally, Glenn Frey (born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 6, 1948) performed in his hometown and served as a backup musician for Bob Segerbefore moving to L.A. in the summer of 1968. He formed the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle with J.D. Souther, and the two musicians signed to Amos Records, which released their self-titled album in 1969.
In the spring of 1971, Frey and Henley were hired to play inLinda Ronstadt‘s backup band. Meisner and Leadon also played backup for Ronstadt during her summer tour, though the four only did one gig together: a July show at Disneyland. They did, however, all appear on Ronstadt‘s next album,Linda Ronstadt. In September 1971, Frey, Henley, Leadon, and Meisner signed with manager David Geffen, agreeing to record for his soon-to-be-launched label, Asylum Records; soon after, they adopted the name the Eagles. In February 1972, they flew to England and spent two weeks recording their debut album, Eagles, with producer Glyn Johns. It was released in June, reaching the Top 20 and going gold in a little over a year and a half on the strength of two Top Ten hits — “Take It Easy” and “Witchy Woman” — and one Top 20 hit, “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”
the Eagles toured as an opening act throughout 1972 and into early 1973, when they returned to England to record their second LP, Desperado, a concept album about outlaws. Produced by Glyn Johns and released in April 1973, it reached the Top 40 and went gold in a little less than a year and a half, spawning the Top 40 single “Tequila Sunrise” in the process. The title track, though never released as a single, became one of the band’s better-known songs and was included on the Eagles‘ first hits collection.
After touring to supportDesperado‘s release, the Eagles again convened a recording session with Glyn Johns for their third album. Their desire to make harder rock music clashed with Johns‘ sense of them as a country-rock band, however, and they split from the producer after recording two tracks, “You Never Cry Like a Lover” and “The Best of My Love.” After an early 1974 tour opened by singer/guitarist Joe Walsh, the band decided to hire Walsh‘s producer, Bill Szymczyk, who handled the rest of the sessions for On the Border. Szymczyk brought in a session guitarist, Don Felder (born in Gainesville, Florida, on September 21, 1947), an old friend ofBernie Leadon‘s who so impressed the rest of the band that he was recruited to join the group.On the Border was released in March 1974. It went gold and reached the Top Ten in June, the Eagles‘ fastest-selling album yet. The first single, “Already Gone,” reached the Top 20 the same month. But the most successful song on the LP — the one that broke them through to a much larger audience — was “The Best of My Love,” which was released as a single in November. It hit number one on the easy listening charts in February 1975 and topped the pop charts a month later.
the Eagles‘ fourth album, One of These Nights, was an out-of-the-box smash. Released in June 1975, it went gold the same month and hit number one in July. Moreover, it featured three singles that hit the Top Five: the chart-topping title song, “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Take It to the Limit.” “Lyin’ Eyes” won the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus, and the Eagles also earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year (One of These Nights) and Record of the Year (“Lyin’ Eyes”). The group went on a headlining world tour, beginning with the U.S. and expanding into Europe. But on December 20, 1975, it was announced that Bernie Leadon had quit the band, and Joe Walsh (born in Wichita, Kansas, on November 20, 1947) was brought in as his replacement. He immediately joined the tour, which continued to the Far East in early 1976.
the Eagles‘ extensive touring kept them out of the studio, and with no immediate plans for a new album; they agreed to release a compilation, Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), in February 1976. The album’s success proved to be surprisingly meteoric. It topped the charts and became a phenomenal success, eventually selling upwards of 25,000,000 copies and dueling with Michael Jackson‘sThriller for the title of the best-selling album of all time in the U.S.It took the Eagles 18 months to follow One of These Nightswith their fifth album, Hotel California. Released in December 1976, the record was certified platinum in one week, hit number one in January 1977, and eventually sold over 10,000,000 copies. The singles “New Kid in Town” and “Hotel California” hit number one, and “Life in the Fast Lane” made the Top 20. Meanwhile, “Hotel California” won the 1977 Grammy for Record of the Year and was nominated for Song of the Year; the album itself was nominated for Album of the Year and for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus. the Eagles embarked on a world tour in March 1977 that began with a month in the U.S., followed by a month in Europe and the Far East, then returned to the U.S. in May for stadium dates. At the end of the tour in September, Randy Meisner left the band; he was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit (born in Sacramento, California, November 20, 1947), formerly of Poco, in which he had also replacedMeisner.
the Eagles began working on a new album in March 1978 and took nearly a year and a half to complete it. The Long Run was released in September 1979. It hit number one and was certified platinum after four months, eventually earning multi-platinum certifications. “Heartache Tonight,” its lead-off single, hit number one, and “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “The Long Run” became Top Ten hits. “Heartache Tonight” won the 1979 Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. the Eagles toured the U.S. in 1980, and at a week-long series of shows at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, they recorded Eagles Live. (Also included were some tracks recorded in 1976.) Released in November 1980, the double LP (since reissued as a single CD) reached the Top Five and went multi-platinum, with the single “Seven Bridges Road” reaching the Top 40.
the Eagles were inactive after the end of their 1980 tour, but their breakup was not officially announced until May 1982. All five released solo recordings. (Walsh, of course, maintained a solo career before, during, and after the Eagles.) During the rest of the ’80s, the bandmembers received several lucrative offers to reunite, but they declined. In 1990, Freyand Henley began writing together again, and they performed along with Schmit and Walsh at benefit concerts that spring. A full-scale reunion was rumored, but did not take place. Four years later, however, the Eagles did reunite. In the spring of 1994, they taped an MTV concert special and then launched a tour that ended up running through August 1996. The MTV show aired in October, followed in November by an audio version of it, the album Hell Freezes Over, which topped the charts and became a multi-million seller, spawning the Top 40 pop hit “Get Over It” and the number one adult contemporary hit “Love Will Keep Us Alive.”
the Eagles next appeared together in January 1998 for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, when the five present members performed alongside past membersLeadon and Meisner. On December 31, 1999, they played a millennium concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles that was recorded and included on the box set retrospectiveSelected Works: 1972-1999 in November 2000. All was not well within the band, however, and Felder was expelled from the lineup in February 2001. A protracted legal battle ensued as the Eagles soldiered on as a quartet, releasing The Very Best of the Eagles in 2003 and achieving minor success with the single “Hole in the World.” Felder‘s case was settled out of court in 2007; that same year, the Eagles returned with the band’s seventh studio album, Long Road Out of Eden, a double-disc album that quickly went multi-platinum.
Glenn Frey, Eagles guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday. He was 67. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016. Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” the Eagles wrote in a statement Monday.
Henley continued, “He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved is wife and kids more than anything. We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow. We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet. It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it. But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”
“Glen was a brilliant musician and a great guy,” musician Harold Faltermeyer, who recorded the Beverly Hills Cop song “The Heat Is On” with Frey, tells Rolling Stone. “Rock & roll just lost one of its great sons! RIP Glen!”
Frey recently suffered from “a recurrence of previous intestinal issues, which will require major surgery and a lengthy recovery period,” the Eagles announced in November when they postponed their Kennedy Center Honors ceremony from December to the following year.
“The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the [medications],” Eagles manager Irving Azoff told The Wrap. “He died from complications of ulcer and colitis after being treated with drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis which he had for over 15 years.”
The Detroit-born Frey performed with groups in the Motor City area before relocating to Los Angeles in the late Sixties. Frey would eventually meet and live with J.D. Souther — his partner in the short-lived duo Longbranch Pennywhistle — and singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. It was Souther who encouraged Linda Ronstadt, his girlfriend at the time, to hire Frey and three other artists – drummer Don Henley, bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Bernie Leadon – to serve as her backing band during a 1971 tour. When the trek concluded, the Eagles were born.
A year later, the Eagles’ inaugural lineup released their 1972 self-titled LP, featuring the Frey- and Browne-penned “Take It Easy” and the Frey-sung “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” Eagles, one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, set the band on a trajectory toward being one of the biggest selling acts ever, a reputation cemented the following year with the arrival of Desperado. The latter album featured multiple hit singles co-written by Frey, including “Tequila Sunrise” and the title track.
“Sometimes I wonder if the other guys in the band know how much I like them. How much of a foundation they are. We never even talk about it. We each have our own spaces. We play sometimes and we fight sometimes,” Frey told Rolling Stone in 1975. “I get so caught up in all this – the pressures of being Glenn Frey of the Eagles, the guy who talks a lot – that if Randy or Bernie needed some confidence building, I might be too self-involved to realize it. I worry about that. But even though there’s a keg of dynamite that’s always sitting there, this band is fairly together. I just figure we can’t lose. The longer the Eagles stay together, the better it’s gonna be. No matter what. We never expected to get this far, anyway. I thought we’d break up after our first album.”
Frey also had a hand in writing the Eagles’ “One of These Nights,” “Take It to The Limit” and “Lyin’ Eyes,” with the guitarist contributing lead vocals to the latter. The Eagles would reach their peak in 1976 with their landmark Hotel California, with the title track – penned by Frey, Henley and guitarist Don Felder – winning the Grammy for Record of the Year; “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane” (the latter written by Frey, Henley and Joe Walsh) would become classic rock staples, and the LP itself would place Number 37 on Rolling Stone‘s all-time list.
In 1979, the Eagles released The Long Run, which featured the last songs they would record together until the 1994 reunion live LP Hell Freezes Over. On Long Run, Frey provided vocals on the album’s most lasting single, “Heartache Tonight,” while also co-writing the title track and the Timothy B. Schmit-sung “I Can’t Tell You Why.” The following year, a fallout between Frey and Felder ultimately resulted in the group disbanding.
As a solo artist, Frey enjoyed a string of hits that included the Beverly Hills Cop track “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong to the City,” a song penned for Miami Vice. “City” would go on to take on a second life as a New York anthem thanks to its association with the 1986 World Series-winning New York Mets and Jay Z’s Frey-sampling “The City Is Mine.” Frey released five solo albums during this period, and also dabbled in acting, appearing in Miami Vice and later Jerry Maguire. That film’s director, Cameron Crowe, famously interviewed the Eagles for a 1975 Rolling Stone cover story, which would later inspire the filmmaker’s 2000 movie Almost Famous.
In 1993, thanks in part to Travis Tritt’s attempts to reconcile the Eagles for the video for his “Take It Easy” cover, the Eagles lineup of Frey, Henley, Felder, Schmit and Walsh reunited for good for 1994’s Hell Freezes Over, the title a nod to what it would take to get the Eagles back together. The reunited Eagles toured for nearly six years, with sporadic postponements as Frey dealt with medical issues that would occasionally plague him over the next two decades. In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the seven core members performing “Hotel California” and “Take It Easy” together.
In 2007, an Eagles lineup of Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit released Long Road Out of Eden, the band’s first full-length LP since The Long Run. That was followed by a critically acclaimed documentary History of the Eagles as well as another long stretch of tour dates. In 2012, Frey released After Hours, his first solo LP in 20 years.
“I don’t get up every morning and say, ‘God dang! Eagles Greatest Hits is now past 30 million! It’s unbelievable!’ But, you know, it boggles the mind somewhat,” Frey told Rolling Stone in 2012. “You have to adjust when things like this happen. You just have to keep perspective. As long as I keep taking out the garbage and cleaning up after the dogs and taking the kids to school, I’ll have perspective. I don’t get to bask in the afterglow much. I told the guys in my band, ‘The reason I like coming out there is because people do what I say, and this is the only place where that happens.’ It’s very gratifying to think that we’ve found this place and that we are where we are.”
In addition to the Eagles’ statement – signed by Frey’s fellow band members, their management and Frey’s family – the group also shared the lyrics to Eagles’ “It’s Your World Now,” a Frey co-written track from their Long Road Out of Eden. “But first a kiss, one glass of wine / Just one more dance while there’s still time / My one last wish: someday, you’ll see /How hard I tried and how much you meant to me.”
Frey is survived by his wife Cindy and children Taylor, Deacon and Otis. Azoff told the Wrap that a memorial for Frey is currently being planned.